RICHARD FRIEDBERG WORKS DEBUT
UTICA – “Terrible Beauty,” an exhibit of monumental sculptures by an Oneonta-area artist, Richard Friedberg, will open Saturday, Feb. 27, at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute Museum of Art in Utica.
Developing a novel aluminum mesh as his raw material, Friedberg’s nine sculptures in the show are based on such catastrophes as BP’s Deepwater Horizon wellhead blowout in the Gulf of Mexico and the Fukushima nuclear accident and resulting tsunami.
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Friedberg, 78, whose studio in a barn in Harpersfield, has exhibited at Hartwick College’s Yager Museum and lectured at SUNY Oneonta. He has also received numerous commissions over the years, from Citicorp to Prudential to the Atlanta International Airport.
The mesh he developed for the works to be exhibited at the M-W-P “works beautifully for (his) purpose,” said Mary Murray, the museum’s curator of modern and contemporary art. “It is malleable, easily manipulated to suggest powerful but fleeting phenomena such as explosions or ocean waves that will transform again momentarily.”
Friedberg received his MFA from Yale and moved to New York City, where he works were exhibited in such galleries as Tibor de Nagy, Fischbach, and OK Harris, as well as at the 1973 Whitney Biennial and the Storm King Art Center.
“Terrible Beauty” marks the most recent moment in a near-50-year history for Friedberg in Utica. In 1974, he was the first artist to be invited to Sculpture Space, Inc., a downtown artists’ residency program, before the studio had been formally founded. From its inception, Sculpture Space has been linked with and has been an important partner to Munson-Williams.